Servicing A Sticky Situation

Adversity is something that all restaurants face by nature, sometimes more so than others. Restaurants’ customers can have issues with just about anything, there is a strict health code that needs to be followed at all times, plus the industry is just tough to compete in. That is why excellent customer service at an eatery is a unique accent to a restaurant that helps it stand out in my mind. The rare times that I actually have a problem with my experience at a restaurant, action above and beyond the typical service expectations for a restaurant can quickly make me forgive and forget.

Like the other day.

Café Asia is a restaurant I really like. It’s a place I happily go for lunch or dinner to get sushi, plus I love their Happy Hour. So it was a bit disheartening when there was an issue with the sushi I ordered there recently. It wasn’t really their fault, as it could happen to any fish in any sushi restaurant and maybe it was just a rough day for an otherwise consistent joint, but let’s just say it was a little unsettling. Their reputation was suddenly on the ropes for me.

As I beckoned to the first waiter I saw, I relayed the information to him and he promptly imparted me a stony look of understanding and removed my untouched plate. After some time he came back and apologized, indicating that he had made sure that it was taken care of and was taking over our table. He offered to bring me a new plate of sushi or to bring me a cooked entree and then assured me that this type of thing had not happened before to his knowledge. At this point I wanted sushi and I wanted to complete my investigation, so I asked him for the sushi. He brought it, and it appeared he had brought me the best whitefish and tuna that they had. And upon noticing the sheer size and quality of the sushi, I ate the best plate of nigiri I have ever had at Cafe Asia. Nice bounce back for them.

But it gets better. After apologizing another ten-ish times, comping us the whitefish nigiri, bringing a dessert “on him” and taking another twenty percent off the entire bill, I wasn't even that upset when I left. I actually felt better about Café Asia.

One of my biggest fears is having a fish-related problem at a restaurant because I love sushi so much. I’ve heard that once you have a bad fish experience, there is no turning back. That is why I tend to only eat sushi at reputable places. To think that Café Asia was heading down that road but used impeccable customer service to even improve my opinion of their restaurant speaks more wonder about their restaurant than any great dish. There will be a next time at Café Asia for me, and I recommend that there be a next time for you too.

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